Watering a lawn is not normally necessary during the summer, however during a hot dry summer (much like this summer) your grass may need a helping hand. Find out how often you should water your lawn with advice from Paynes Turf.
It’s important not to over water your lawn. Grass that has been saturated will suffocate from the lack of oxygen and the turf will eventually die. The roots of grass blades need both oxygen and water to grow strong, and without one of these elements the roots will be unable to survive.
Shallow watering will not allow water to penetrate down to the roots of the grass – although your lawn may look wet on the surface after watering, the water may not have penetrated deep enough for it to have any effect. If your lawn is already brown or yellow due to under watering, there may be little point in continuing to water it – during dry periods grass tends to lay dormant anyway. The good news, however, is that the grass will recover surprisingly well when the autumn rains commence.
So how often should you water your lawn?
It is better to water your lawn deeply and infrequently, rather than giving it a quick sprinkle with the hose every day. Generally, from June to September (when your grass is growing and it needs regular mowing) water deeply once a week if necessary (depending on rainfall) to ensure the water penetrates to the roots. Try to water the lawn early in the morning to allow the grass to dry during the course of the day. It is possible to water the lawn in the evenings, although some lawn diseases can occur when grass is left very wet overnight.
How do I know how long to water the lawn for?
The best way to see if the water has reached the roots of the grass is to cut a small hole in the lawn, or push a sharp knife into the ground. Soil that has been correctly watered will be dark, moist, and cool, but never soaking wet.
New turf is the exception to the general rule for watering lawns. Newly laid turf requires watering twice a day for at least a week after laying, then 2-3 times a week for a couple of weeks. This is to allow the new turf to establish thick, strong roots, which in turn will help the grass to grow healthy and strong. The most important rule is to water deeply – water must penetrate down into the soil below the turf to reach the roots. You can check if the water has penetrated deep enough by lifting a corner of the turf.